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Canonsburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Dan Kuba today attended the 2023 Apprenticeship Summit, an event organized by the Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board (SCWDB) in Canonsburg, Washington County, to highlight how registered apprenticeships help employers recruit skilled workers and improve employee retention at businesses within southwestern Pennsylvania.
At a panel discussion, Kuba joined SCWDB members, educators, employers, job training providers, union leaders, and community-based organizations to highlight the success of apprenticeship-based career pathways and how they can help meet needs of businesses while preparing Pennsylvanians for the jobs of the future – a key priority of Governor Josh Shapiro's budget.
"Apprenticeship programs offer customizable education and job training that builds the talent pool needed to be competitive in today's labor market," said Kuba. "This proven workforce development strategy is a commonsense solution to ongoing workforce challenges, helps ensure workers feel supported in their pursuit for family-sustaining wages, and allows businesses to be representative of the people they serve."
Funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), SCWDB helps develop policies, oversee public funds, and procure services that will help employers and job seekers throughout Washington, Greene, and Beaver counties. The board offers job placement assistance, education, training, and counseling to achieve a skilled workforce and economic development throughout the region.
"Our goal for the summit is to bring together educators and other stakeholders that are interested in strengthening the apprenticeship and work-based learning model," said Ami Gatts, director of SCWDB. "Today's discussion allows us to continue developing strategies that help businesses recruit and engage a talent pipeline in southwestern Pennsylvania."
Governor Shapiro's budget proposes an increase of $23.8 million to build partnerships between Career and Technical Education and industries, trades, and entities that need highly skilled workers. Specifically, his proposal invests $3 million for apprenticeships to strengthen the Commonwealth's commitment to an earn-and-learn model that will lead to family-sustaining wages, and an additional $3.5 million to support workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations, and associations.
The SCWDB currently partners with L&I's Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) on their new Apprenticeship Builds America grant, providing technical assistance and funding support made available by Governor Shapiro to expand registered apprenticeship through the Commonwealth.
Established in 2016, the ATO is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports 873 unduplicated program sponsors and 1,586 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth, with 16,362 registered apprentices currently active.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit the website or follow L&I on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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